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.: February 2006 --> The right to be irresponsible

The right to be irresponsible

» Three quotes I agree with:

"What brings more prejudice against Islam? These caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony in Amman?" Jihad Momani, editor of a Jordanian newspaper, responding to controversy surrounding the publication in Europe of 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
"The Western papers printed these sacrilegious cartoons on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let's see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons." Farid Mortazavi, the graphics editor for a Tehran newspaper, announcing an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust.
"Would Americans be no less outraged at a mocking cartoon of Martin Luther King (say, in some stereotyped Watermelon-eating pose) or Jesus as many Muslims around the world are at the Danish cartoons?" Josh Marshall, considering where he stands on the whole situation.

The Christian Science Monitor has a good timeline of the furor over the Danish cartoons, including Jyllands-Posten's rationale for commissioning them.

Me? Free speech, blah blah blah. Cultural sensitivity, blah blah blah. For me, the question comes down to editorial value. The editor at Jyllands-Posten had, in my opinion, a reasonable aim. However, reprints based on "my right to caricature God" and "my right to blaspheme" are childish at best. Why not defend your "right to further inflame an already explosive situation"? I call it irresponsible journalism.

Of course you have the right to be offensive. So what? Publish a hard-hitting investigative report that will put your relationship with those in power in jeopardy, and then come back and talk to me about the importance of this principle.

 [ 02.07.06 ]

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REBECCA BLOOD: Right again. Tags: rebecca blood Read More


Very reminiscent of John Lennon's comments on JC and the Beatles blah blah blah. Oh I mean yeah yeah yeah.

I think the cartoons in question are borderline racist, however...

Jesus is routinely mocked, and I don't see American Christians burning down consulates.

And I don't see Jews reacting with violence to the way they've been portrayed in the Arab media for years.

I'm going to leave mob mentality out of this, since I don't know much about how it works, and I don't know how it maps to situations like this one. I will say that it seems like people attribute temporary "mob mentality" to groups of people who seem very much like them, and permanent "moral failure" to groups who seem different.

I think protests turn to riots when people feel ostracized by the system. People who feel that the system works for them tend to uphold the law. They have a stake in the status quo. They may picket Monty Python's "Life of Brian" or Serrano's Piss Christ or burn Beatle records, but they don't smash windows. I feel certain that most of the people who feel insulted by the Jyllands-Posten cartoons are at home watching the riots on television.

But we do have smashed windows after the LAPD/Rodney King trial and at the Seattle WTO Summit. Windows smashed by people who either feel ignored by the system or that the system is out to get them.

I'm not excusing the rioters of course. During the Rodney King trial riots Bobby Green, Lei Yuille and her brother, Titus Murphy, and Terri Barnett, all African-Americans, left their homes to rescue Reginald Denny, a white truck driver who was beaten nearly to death by an angry mob. Everyone chooses, no matter how angry they are.

But this thing isn't happening in a vacuum. In this particular case, the rioters are being incited on two sides: by newspapers who continue printing the cartoons because "you aren't the boss of me" and by Islamic leaders or wannabe leaders who see an opportunity for political gain. This is a group of sorely offended, disenfranchised people being prodded at by provocateurs and manipulators.

I think everyone is behaving badly.

Hello. Good to see someone has the courage to put up a web site regarding those "cartoons" that got so much anger stirred up in the middle east. Thanks Rebecca.

This is a hard one to call. Cartooning has gone on in our culture for ages.
For some artist to render cartoons of Mohammad in such a manner that by the way I still haven't seen the actual cartoons in mention. But
when people of a "religion" get that angry and that hatefilled and that destructive over cartoons ...I think those individuals could use some "Help". Ok?
In our world there is so little that is "sacred" as it is, granted but in my view and from one part of a cartoon in which I do remember seeing a bomb drawn on top of Mohammad's head.
Perhaps the artist was merely trying to communicate his views using his art to do so.
Cartoons are communication tools also.
Personally, the people who Say they are of some religious group like for example, the Moslims...they lost my Vote along time ago. So I really have NO interest in what they "Believe" or "Stand For" at all. "9/11" and the many many innocent people who were murdered by some psycopathic, soulless creature, named Osama bin Laden and his band of "men"...that was tretcherous..!

So much HATE and so much deseprate destruction THAT is what the Moslims of Iraq and Iran have shown me they are all about and very very little else.
A Merciful God....A Forgiving God...A Loving God, that is a God worth looking up to and seeking in one's life.

Not a people so full of disgusting anger and hatred that all the world suffers now as it does.
Everyone likes attention...but I have never seen such desperation in anyone as the Terrorists have shown how pathetically they seem to NEED all this Attention...! They are truely a pathetic group of individuals.

Once again....a God who is merciful...a God who is Forgiving. A God who LOVES his people...that is what our planet of people needs now.
{{{ P E A C E }}}

Jerry, first of all, I don't think this is a religion thing. I think it is a class thing. It is about perceived double standards. (There are hate speech laws in some European countries — why do they not apply to these cartoons?)

Generally the violent element in any large group is vastly outnumbered by a moderate, peace-loving majority. Let's not forget about the fundamentalist Christian groups here in the United States who have bombed abortion clinics.

I think we can all agree that we're against killing people to make a point. I think we can all agree that property damage, while a satisfying way to express anger, isn't good public relations. Beyond that, though, the situation becomes a lot more complex.



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